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Jobs for infinity and beyond

  9th August 2019       Laurence Doherty
 Engineering, Science & Space

Earlier in 2019, we celebrated 50 years since the first ever moon landing and even though man last stepped foot on the lunar planet back in 1972, giant leaps are still being made in the space sector.

A growing share of the space market

While it’s easy to think of space exploration as a US, Russian or even Indian domain. Space stations, galactic travel and missions to Mars wouldn’t happen without the UK’s involvement and our influence is set to increase. The UK currently makes up 5.1% of the global space economy (2016/17) and the UK space industry is on target to achieve the Government aim of 10% of the global space economy by 2030.

Intergalactic investment

Space is a sector that’s not short of investment or intent. The UK Space Industry has a total income of £14.8bn and employs close to 42,000 people. Its strong performance is achieved through continued funding, with investment growth of 42% in the last 12 months alone.

In the ‘Prosperity from Space’ report, published in 2018 by UKspace (the trade association for the UK’s space industry), growth plans for the sector were set out, with aims to double the worth of space industrial activities across the UK economy from £250 billion to £500 billion.

The report even alludes to our departure from the EU, which looks more likely than ever with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. In relation to space, the report says ‘the decision to leave the EU creates particular need to ‘raise our game and avoid complacency.’

Outer space in Oxfordshire – employment hotspot

Oxfordshire is a real hub for the space sector, and the companies based there are enjoying great success. One of the leading space companies in Oxfordshire, Reaction Engines, has raised over £100 million over the past four years and has secured additional investment from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Boeing’s venture capital arm to further develop its revolutionary air breathing SABRE rocket engine. Elsewhere in the county, Earth-i is part of a joint venture with Marex Spectron, working to unlock insights specific to clients seeking information on the copper supply chain, using satellite technology.

Another Oxfordshire success story is Open Cosmos, who achieved $8m in its latest round of funding. Another key player in the UK space sector is Oxford Space Systems (OSS), who recently secured a £1m contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to develop a new generation of pioneering British-deployable satellite antennas. This is the largest ever contract placed with a first-time supplier by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).

Specialisms in space

As you would expect, job opportunities within the space industry include specialisms such as aerospace, electrical, electronic, mechanical, communications, IT and systems engineering. There is also the need to apply physics and other sciences to the development of applications and services for people on Earth using information from satellites.

Become a space cadet

Most people working in the space industry have a scientific or engineering background, with relevant degrees. There are, however, opportunities for motivated young people who want to study and learn through an apprenticeship, or for people from other sectors who would like to apply and adapt their skills to the specialisms of the space industry speak to our specialists at Bond Williams Engineering, Science and Space division based in Oxford.

You can find out more about the health of the UK space industry by downloading the London Economics report presented to the UK Space Agency on the Size & Health of the UK Space Industry 2018.

Laurence Doherty

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Laurence is an REC CertRP qualified recruitment consultant specialising in the IT, Engineering, Scientific and Education sectors. During his 12 year career, he has developed a deep understanding of recruitment sales, marketing, candidate vetting procedures and account management and understands how to develop lasting relationships with candidates and clients by …


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